In April 1997, the Internal Revenue Service Chapter of Blacks In Government (BIG) at the New Carrollton Federal Building was realized. This was the vision of two IRS employees, Mr. Mel Waters and Mr. Fred Bumbry.
While a sister chapter, IRS Chislom-Hughes, was already established, this chapter was organized to serve as one of the vehicles to bring together a coalition of African-American IRS employees to address workplace issues impacting them at the New Carrollton Federal Building.
At its inception, the organization devoted its focus to these issues (but not solely limited to these): Discriminaton; Retaliation; Promotion Opportunities; Mid-Year and Annual Reviews; Disparate Treatment; Disciplinary Action; Professional/Career Development and Training.
As the initial meetings were held in the homes of IRS employees, attendance grew which caused the founders to look for a larger site. A larger site was found and the next meeting was held on July 16, 1997 at the New Carrollton Federal Building.
Later in July 1997, the Chapter By-Laws and charter were prepared and submitted to the National Blacks in Government Board of Directors for priority approval prior to the National Training Conference (NTC) activities in Washington, D.C.
The initial membership enrollment for the IRS New Carrollton Federal Building Chapter was 57 employees. This was the largest enrollment of any chapter at that time. Based on this enrollment, a request was submitted to send the chapter’s first delegates to the NTC. Both requests (approval of newly established by-laws and the participation of two delegates) were approved. Our first chapter delegates to attend the NTC in 1997 were Bridgette M. Kendrick and Pat Wells-Rose.
On September 22, 1997, a meeting was held at the request of Oscar Eason, National President, Blacks in Government, for the presentation of the new chapter charter. Subsequently, on October 15, 1997, the IRS New Carrollton Federal Building Chapter held its “Welcome Aboard/Kickoff” meeting to celebrate the approval of its new chapter. The guest speaker was Gerald Reed, Region XI President who also served as the officiant for the installation ceremony for the founding chapter officers.
The founding chapter officers were:
• President: Melvin E. Waters, Sr.
• 1st Vice President: Arthuretta Martin
• 2nd Vice President: Robyn Mullen
• Treasurer: Fred C. Bumbry
• Assistant Treasurer: Thomas Stewart
• Recording Secretary: Anita J. King
• Corresponding Secretary: Mitchelle Hunter
• Parliamentarian: Albert E. Holloway
• Historian: Alfredia Jones
• Chaplin: Keith A. Elam